Geomorphology of the Sicily Island Hills

Posted: October 12, 2009 in Homepage

Geomorphology is the scientific study of landforms and the forces that create them. The Sicily Island Hills are located in the northeast portion of Louisiana in Catahoula Parish. Paste the following URL

from the Louisiana Geographic Information Center (LAGIC) into your browser ( or click on the Satellite View from Space (LAGIC) link on left under Blogroll ) to open up a composite satellite image of the state of Louisiana with the geographical feature Sicily Island highlighted in a red box. This image vividly shows the Sicily Island Hills in relation to the Mississippi River Alluvial Plain and the Chalk Hills to the west, as well as Sicily Island Hills position relative to the rest of the state.

Notice the wide swath of farmland in northeast Louisiana, indicated by the lighter colored areas in the upper right of the image. The Mississippi River for many thousands of years has carved out this fabulous alluvial plain. Farmers delight in planting corn, cotton, pecans,rice,sorghum, soybeans, strawberries, sweet potatoes, and wheat in this rich soil. On the far east of this plain is found the Mississippi River  and to the west rests the Ouachita River. As one moves from north to south in northeast Louisiana, the floodplain narrows and appears at its narrowest between the Sicily Island Hills and Waterproof, Louisiana.

In the bottom left hand corner of the LAGIC page click on Zoom In to view the Sicily Island Hills. Notice in blue a few ponds within the hills and the many various water features in the surrounding area. Some of the features are man made, such as the geometrically shaped catfish ponds to the north, and many characteristics such as the Ouachita River and Boeuf River which are naturally occurring. If one looks carefully at the scars left behind by the meanders of ancient rivers all around SIH, or the many meanders of current bayous and rivers, one can easily imagine the long term forces at work that brought the Sicily Island Hills to their present form.

The satellite image displays the many ridges and corresponding valleys throughout the Sicily Island Hills. With fine loess soils capping these hills, combined with abundant rainfall, it would be easy to imagine a highly eroded landscape.

By clicking on the Description button in the lower left hand corner of the LAGIC site, the viewer will find a page which discusses the geomorphology of the alluvial plain at large.


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